The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode and the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, say Nigerians must embrace the virtues of love and peaceful coexistence for the sake of the country.
The governor and the speaker, in their Christmas messages, said since the season symbolised peace for all men, Nigerians must refrain from activities that could trigger unrest and disunity.
Ambode said as the nation continued to anticipate the change promised by the All Progressives Congress government at the federal and state levels, positive change could only materialise through peaceful coexistence.
He said, “The season of Christmas is one that exemplifies the virtues of love and peaceful coexistence. We must continue to extend a hand of love and live as one family irrespective of our creed or colour.”
The governor said the security challenge, which the country was facing presently, should not be used as an avenue to create division along ethnic and religious lines.
He added that Nigeria over the years had continued to draw strength from its diversity, adding that Nigerians must, therefore, stand together and resist any attempt by any individual or group of persons to highlight ethnic differences to further their selfish ends or fan embers of disunity.
He said, “The period of Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, who is the symbol of Christianity and the harbinger of peace, love and good tidings, and there is no better way to celebrate the season than by showing love and being our brother’s keeper.
“While wishing all Lagosians a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year in advance, I call on fellow Lagosians to resolve to emphasise only those things that unite us and de-emphasise all those things that separate us.”
The Speaker, Obasa, stated that Nigerians should live by the teachings of Jesus Christ, which centered on spreading of love, peace and tranquility among mankind.
He said, “Jesus lived and died spreading the Gospel of love, peace and tranquility among mankind and these are what should be uppermost in our minds in anything we do.”
Obasa further stated that peaceful coexistence and love were essential ingredients of nation building, which in turn would lead to socio-economic growth of a society.
“A society where peace, joy and love reign, achieves greatness as these provide an enabling environment for growth and development of such society.
“I congratulate every Nigerian on the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, and also advise members of the public not to see the event as merry making only, but as a moment of sober reflection aimed at taking concrete steps to move the country forward,” Obasa added.